Archives for posts with tag: tofu


Just around the corner from where I live there is a place called The Shack Market Cafe. It’s omni but always has at least a couple of good vegan options. They’re all about wholefoods. This is the Earth Burger: the patty is made of kale, quinoa, tahini, grated carrot and other yummy things, served with sweet potato fries, salad, tomato relish and grilled tofu. I liked it.  The coffee is good too.

They have three locations: Newtown, Monterey and Gymea. You can see a couple of other things I’ve eaten at the Shack here and here.


After drooling over vegan faux seafood recipes online for a long time, I finally got my act together and bought some dulse flakes (I found them online). I decided to start with vegan fish and chips, following this recipe from Leafy Greens and Chocolate. The short version is that we all thought this was really tasty and enjoyed the meal. My 8 year old said “Mum, you got the packets mixed up, this *is* fish!” (-:

I served the vegan fish fillets with chips, steamed brocolli and roasted balsamic Brussel sprouts  (recipe from Greenilicious).

The process is easy and fun, though it does take a little planning ahead. If you want to learn more, read on…


After pressing the tofu, you lay it on a nori sheet and drizzle with a simple marinade of lemon juice, soy sauce and dulse flakes. I accidently doubled the amount of dulse flakes specified by the recipe, but it all turned out fine.


Then you put another nori sheet on top and blitz everything in the microwave for 2 minutes. The only dish I had that would fit the tofu filllets was Pyrex, and it wasn’t marked “microwave safe”. The interwebs assured me that the pyrex probably wouldn’t explode in the microwave, but that I should avoid putting the dish down on a cold surface when I took it out of the microwave. OK then. I placed it on a wooden cooling rack and nothing exploded. Then you just leave the tofu sitting there at room temperature for a few hours, to soak up the taste of the sea.


Finally, you mix up a few ingredients and lay out some Panko crumbs, dip each steak into the wet stuff, roll it in the crumbs, place on a baking tray and stick it in the oven. Easy! Give it a try.


I had quite a bit of leftover peanut sauce from the gado-gado recipe. So I fried some firm tofu in peanut oil, then put aside under alfoil to keep warm while I lightly fried some brocollini and snow peas, which I had chopped into bite-sized pieces. Then I added the peanut sauce, which resembled very thick peanut butter, and about 3/4 of a cup of water to thin the sauce down. Once the sauce was thinner and smoother, I reintroduced the tofu and left it on the heat for about 5 minutes.

We ate this over white rice and it was very tasty.


My partner and I both accidently bought lettuce within two days of each other (baby cos, and iceberg) . So naturally I decided to make san choy bau for dinner. I used this recipe from, which was simple to make, but very very tasty. Actually I didn’t find it very easy to get the outer leaves of the iceberg lettuce off in one piece, but a little tear doesn’t matter: you can still roll the leaf around the filling and enjoy. The kids liked this dinner too, though they’re normally not huge fans of the humble lettuce.  So that was a good result all round.


My partner is an omnivore but is happy to cook vegan food for us all to eat. He has also bonded with Isa Does It, which has led to him expanding his repertoire considerably. Recently he cooked this yummy pesto-cauliflower pasta with breaded tofu. The pesto uses basil and coriander (cilantro) and tastes really fresh. The breaded tofu was fun too.

At the back of the photo you can see some beetroot, which I prepared because my partner said he’d been craving it. I roasted some beetroot in their skins and served them warm. Not the most natural pairing with this pasta dish, perhaps, but it was tasty.


Tonight my friend Dana took me to Cha-Ya, a vegan Japanese restaurant in Berkeley. There were so many great-sounding dishes, it was very hard to choose. We shared a few dishes and enjoyed them all. Pictured above we see Dengaku on the right: this is tofu, portobello mushroom and eggplant with a miso glaze (the stuff on the top was delicious). The bowl on the left contains sunomono, a cucumber salad with seaweed, radishes and other yummy stuff.


Completing our meal was this noodle bowl, containing gyoza, lots of veggies, and noodles.

I still have a week left in Berkeley and will definitely go back to Cha-Ya to try some more things on the menu: I’ve read a few reviews recommending the Cha-Ya roll. Best of all, this place is just around the corner from where I’m staying: it’s on Shattuck Avenue in the area they call the Gourmet Ghetto.

Vegan paella, The Shack, Monterey

I’m heading off to Berkeley tomorrow for 3 weeks. It’s a work trip, but I’m going to make the most of the many vegan options available in Berkeley. Expect some updates here.

Meanwhile, since I’m busy with packing etc, here’s a quick post about a vegan paella I ate recently at The Shack, Monterey (not far from where I live). The Shack is an omni place with an emphasis on organic food, and with vegan-friendly options. I enjoyed this paella, and it was certainly very nourishing, packed with yummy vegies, some tofu and brown rice.